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Northern Dynasty shares dive on reports of planned Alaska mine halt

Aug 24 (Reuters) – Shares of Canadian miner Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd plunged 47% on Monday after media reports said the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump plans to block its proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, despite denials by the company over the weekend.

The Trump administration in July proposed approving a permit for the copper-gold mine, boosting a project the administration of former President Barack Obama tried to halt on environmental grounds.

Bloomberg on Sunday cited a person familiar saying the Trump administration is planning to block the controversial project.

The Washington Post on Saturday cited sources saying the administration would pause the permit process on grounds the company must do more to show how it will reduce environmental harm caused by the project.

Politico first reported Trump was planning to block the proposed mine, which environmentalists argue would damage the surrounding salmon-rich habitat, and the people and wildlife that depend on it. Northern Dynasty denied that report.

The Vancouver-based miner referred questions on Monday to a company statement saying it had launched an advertising and outreach campaign targeting the Trump administration.

It said rejecting the Pebble Mine after extensive study by federal, state and local regulatory agencies would politicize the permitting process and slow the U.S. economic recovery.

(Reporting by Jeff Lewis; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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